Archive-March 2017-Tech Bulletin-IPv4 Announcement-Cradlepoint And Sierra Wireless-EOL LS300 AT&T

As an active adviser to your wireless communications initiatives, USAT Corp. has information to share:

*IPV4 & IPV6 INFORMATION*
 
VZW recently announced that it will stop issuing new public static IPv4 IP addresses on June 30th 2017. USAT has analyzed how this will affect our critical infrastructure clients and an initial summary is below:

  • If your organization’s communication devices are currently sending data on a Verizon private network, you will not be affected by this change.
  • Any existing IPv4 public static IPs currently in use will continue to operate as usual after June 30th 2017.
  • Any devices activated on the VZW network after June 30th MAY NOT be assigned an IPv4 public static IP address. USAT has received no guarantees that exceptions will be made.

 
IN ADDITION, PLEASE ALSO CONSIDER: that if your organization has reserved IPv4 public static IP blocks but do not have the associated IPs assigned to an active device on the VZW network, it may be in your best interest to activate them before June 30th, or VZW will have the right to reclaim those unused IPs from your organization.
 
Below find two statements from USAT’s key manufacturer partners about IPv6 support for their product lines post-June 30th. In both cases, the news is good:

 
If you have any concerns about a specific wireless gateway/router or if you are questioning whether your application requires a public static IP, please contact your USAT Corp. sales account manager or respond to this email.
 
*SIERRA WIRELESS FIRMWARE—IMPORTANT ACTION REQUIRED—UPGRADE TEMPLATES TO 4.7*
 
It is important to note that all new devices in the GX450, RV50, and ES450 product lines from Sierra Wireless are shipping from the factory with 4.7 pre-loaded. Once a device has 4.7 on it, the device cannot be downgraded to an earlier firmware.  In preparation for new deployments, USAT recommends that all current users of the GX/ES and RV families upgrade an existing unit in their stock to the latest firmware and validate that all of their configurations work with their solutions. 
 
More information about the ALEOS 4.7 firmware update can be viewed here: http://usatcorp.com/key-points-sierra-wireless-aleos-4-7-0-firmware-release/

*SIERRA WIRELESS End Of Sale (EOS) ANNOUNCEMENTS*

 
–All GX400s will EOS on April 30th 2017 with the last ship date set for 12/30/2017.
–The AT&T LS300 will also EOS on April 30th 2017 with the last ship date set for 12/30/2017.
–Please note the VZW LS300 is still actively in production and EOS has not yet been announced.
 
Do not hesitate to contact USAT with specific questions related to your business applications. Remember that we are your partners for all elements of a wireless project—including cabling, antennas and enclosures. Check out the spec sheet for the new log periodic LPDA antenna by Poynting that is making a significant difference in connectivity in fringe locations for clients using 4G only LTE Advanced network devices.

Archive-October 2016-Tech Bulletin–Mirai Advisory And New Wireless Network Products MG90

Our mission is to keep you informed about information key to the success of your organization’s wireless data initiatives. Below you will find an overview of important facts about the Mirai virus. Near the bottom of this email, you will find information about new products that you should be aware of in the wireless data communications space.

Mirai Summary: A new Trojan virus called Mirai is in the news.  Mirai is targeting Linux servers, M2M and IoT devices, including cellular gateways and routers, but mainly cameras and DVRs, running Linux-based firmware, for the purpose of nefariously engaging these systems as part of a large botnet used to stage Denial-of-Service DDoS attacks designed to disrupt access to web properties. (More info: https://safeum.com/blog/2014-mirai-trojan-is-the-next-big-threat-to-iot-devices-and-linux-servers.html) Runaway cellular airtime usage can be a result of infection. In the world of wireless networking, any device that runs on Linux is susceptible. PLEASE NOTE USAT CLIENT BASE: Critical infrastructure clients who are on private networks run a reduced risk of infection.

How Infection Happens: Mirai infects devices via brute-force attacks on the Telnet port, exploiting a “black hat” list of default password credentials, taking advantage of instances where device owners have forgotten to change the built-in default password to a secure password. Critical infrastructure clients who are not on private networks but who have implemented complicated passwords (like what the USAT DevProv+ service facilitates) and instituted other basic security functions like “white lists” and “black lists” are unlikely victims. If you have not or suspect that a user within your organization has not changed the default passwords on the devices attached to your corporate network, then it is important to implement secure passwords now in order to avoid operational ramifications as well as possible financial charges due to data consumption overages.

How To Diffuse Your Risk & Treat Infection: Good news: even if your device is infected, restarting the device and changing the password is an effective treatment. Sierra Wireless, a world leader in the manufacture of cellular gateways was the first to issue a technical bulletin detailing the threat of Mirai to the M2M/IOT ecosystem. Please refer to the steps that they suggest to secure devices here: http://usatcorp.com/action-required-sierra-wireless-technical-bulletin-mirai-trojan/.  The Department of Homeland Security also very recently issued an informative publication on defeating Botnets here https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA16-288A. In addition to the advice issued on the DHS link, best practices dictate that if you are a user of cellular routers and gateways, make sure that devices in your network are running the latest firmware.
Please feel free to respond to this email with additional questions or concerns about the Mirai virus.

NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENTS FOLLOW:
USAT NEW PRODUCTS—Poynting High-Gain Multi-band Antennas Launched
Poynting high gain directional antennas are now a stocked item at USAT Corp. USAT conducted an extensive search for multi-band high gain antennas, both omni and directional (yagi) that can support the different flavors of LTE used domestically and around the world, and this product line tested out the best. See examples here http://usatcorp.com/usat-corp-will-now-offer-poynting-antennas/. If you have interest in superior high gain antennas, respond to this email, and a specialist will contact you.

CRADLEPOINT NEW PRODUCTS

SIERRA WIRELESS AIRLINK NEW PRODUCTS

DIGI NEW PRODUCTS

As you set budgets for wireless data communication and networking initiatives in 2017 and beyond, please consider USAT Corp. as your consultative partner and engage with us early and often. You can get in touch with me to discuss your upcoming projects, or reach out directly to your USAT account manager.

4G Cellular Modems For US Cellular–Sierra Wireless AirLink GX450 & ES450

For many years, users of the US Cellular network lacked options when it came to selecting a cellular 3G/4G modem, gateway or router for wireless data acquisition and remote monitoring applications. For organizations that were using the US Cellular network, the lack of “certified” devices was a potential barrier to launching M2M or mobility projects using a public network backbone. Well, the wait is over. For those clients who have been looking for a reliable US Cellular cell modem option for in-vehicle usage or for SCADA, distribution automation or other types of industrial automation, the wait is over. US Cellular has certified the Sierra Wireless AirLink GX450 and the ES450 for use on the US Cellular network as of July 15th, 2015 and the devices are available and shipping now. See them both below.

Tech Note: Required configuration is North America Generic and ALEOS 4.4.1 or later is required.

Sierra Wireless Airlink GX440 End-Of-Life

It is official: Sierra Wireless will cease production of the AirLink GX440 in that not too distant future. The Sierra Wireless GX440 is sunsetting at the end of 2015. Last buy for the GX440  will be Dec. 31st, 2015. Last shipment will be June 30,  2016. Why the six month differential between last buy and last shipment? Because Sierra Wireless is most likely going to allow phased purchase orders is our interpretation. The replacement product for the GX440 is the GX450. The time to start planning for your company’s migration to the GX450 is now. For a summary description of the differences between the GX440 and the GX450, visit this link. 

Sierra Wireless GX440 Part Number List & Feature/Specification Summary

Below find a parts list that includes a features and functionality summary on each model of the Sierra Wireless AirLink GX440.

Important Tips & Notes On The GX440:

  • The GX440 ships without antennas.
  • The GX440 ships without a SIM card. It takes a MINI sized SIM, not a MICRO size SIM.
  • As of this writing, the GX440 does not have a model designed to run on the Sprint network, but that is on the roadmap.
  • The AC adapter version of the GX440 is a world-wide adapter that ships with a kit with many interchangeable heads designed to work with multiple outlet styles.

GX440 Verizon Models

Cellular Modem GX440 Part Numbers Power Assembly GX440 Xcard Slot 4G/3G WWAN Ethernet Port Serial Port GPS
Verizon GX440 1101413  AC Power Empty LTE/EVDO 1 1 Y
Verizon GX440 1101414 DC Power Empty LTE/EVDO 1 1 Y
Verizon GX440 1101530  AC Power WIFI Module LTE/EVDO 1 1 Y
Verizon GX440 1101531 DC Power WIFI Module LTE/EVDO 1 1 Y
Verizon GX440 1101729 DC Power I/O Module LTE/EVDO 1 2 Y
Verizon GX440 1101816 AC Power I/O Module LTE/EVDO 1 2 Y
Verizon GX440 1101728 AC Power Ethernet Module LTE/EVDO 2 1 Y
Verizon GX440 1102024 DC Power Ethernet Module LTE/EVDO 2 1 Y

 

GX440 AT&T Models

Sierra Wireless Cellular Modem GX440 Part Numbers Power Assembly GX440 Xcard Slot 4G/3G WWAN Ethernet Port Serial Port GPS
AT&T GX440 1101689 AC Power Empty LTE/HSPA+ 1 1 Y
AT&T GX440 1101688 DC Power Empty LTE/HSPA+ 1 1 Y
AT&T GX440 1101690 AC Power WIFI Module LTE/HSPA+ 1 1 Y
AT&T GX440 1101691 DC Power WIFI Module LTE/HSPA+ 1 1 Y
AT&T GX440 1101809 DC Power I/O Module LTE/HSPA+ 1 2 Y
AT&T GX440 1101880 AC Power I/O Module LTE/HSPA+ 1 2 Y
AT&T GX440 1101960 AC Power Ethernet Module LTE/HSPA+ 2 1 Y
AT&T GX440 1101810 DC Power Ethernet Module LTE/HSPA+ 2 1 Y

 

Installing A SIM Into A Sierra Wireless GX400W Or GX440W With WiFi

Many of our clients who order Sierra Wireless AirLink GX400 or GX440 cellular gateways with WiFi (like these models 1101531,  1101691 ) find out the hard way that the SIM is very difficult to install. The SIM does not come pre-installed, and the process is not quick to perform. Do it incorrectly or incompetently and risk doing damage to the device itself.  I highly recommend opting to have the SIM installed at the time of sale. Companies like USAT Corp. do that service for a very nominal fee and it comes as a standard part of the device provisioning (DevProv+) professional services. However, if you find yourself in the situation of having to install the SIM yourself, know this key information:

The SIM slot is located on the front left (as you are looking at the side with the lights and the reset button) behind the plastic cover. To access the SIM slot on the device you must remove the plastic cover with a 2mm or 5/64” hexagon Allen wrench.

Step 1: Unplug your GX400/440 from power source.

Step 2: Remove the four hex screws on top of the unit (used to secure the black cover) using a 2mm or 5/64” size Allen (hex) wrench. Place screws in a safe spot, these screws will be used again.

Step 3: Remove the nut and washer from the front facing SMA connector using a 5/16 or 8mm socket torque wrench to a torque spec of 8in-lbs. Place nut and washer in a safe spot, these will be used again.

Step 4: Slide the top black cover off of the device.

Step 5: Install the SIM card with the gold contacts facing down and the cut-out facing to the right.

Re-Installing The Cover Plate

The cover has a tab to mechanically secure the SIM in place during extreme vibration. When replacing the cover:

Step 1: Install the black cover by lining up the SMA antenna connector with the hole in the cover, tilt the rear of the cover slightly to make sure the front bottom of the cover seats in the front ridge, and then push the top of the cover down.

Step 2: Re-install the 4 hex screws on top of the unit.

Step 3: Place the lock washer onto the SMA antenna connector and push to the face of the cover.

Step 4: Install then tighten nut with a 5/16 or 8mm socket torque wrench to a torque spec of 8in-lbs.

CradlePoint Improves GPS Functionality On Some COR IBR600 4G/3G WWAN Routers

For those who were disappointed with the limited GPS functionality in the first release of the CradlePoint COR IBR600, know that CradlePoint has released a new version that should address the GPS functionality limitations inherent in their first design. CradlePoint has released a redesigned version, the COR IBR600LE-PWD for Verizon Wireless (VZW) and the CORIBR600LP-PWD for AT&T, that has active, powered GPS. What this means is that for these two models a separate GPS co-ax connector is present so that a fully-powered external GPS antenna can be used. This feature set upgrade is crucial for any application that needs real-time long/lat data.

Issues For M2M Devices Using The Sierra Wireless AirPrime MC7750

After getting sporadic reports of issues from our clients using Verizon Wireless 4G LTE devices, we have worked with our manufacturer partners and VZW to connect the dots. Here are the facts. There is an issue with the Qualcomm chipset used on the Sierra Wireless AirPrime MC7750 LTE radio module. The chipset issue does not manifest in all geographical regions, but when it does the following problem can be experienced:

4G WWAN devices have trouble staying connected to the Verizon Wireless network. Apparently, if the device drops out of 4G coverage into 3G coverage, it then has a problem reconnecting. We have seen clients experience this scenario using devices as diverse as a Panasonic Toughbook H2 with embedded VZW LTE, the Sierra Wireless AirLink GX440 1101414, 1101413, 1101531, 1101530 and the CradlePoint IBR600-LE.

Currently, we have been informed by contacts Panasonic and Sierra  Wireless that a firmware fix will be available for this issue at the end of November. VZW confirms that these devices are in their labs and that a November date is accurate for VZW to finish necessary testing.

After the new firmware is available, detailed instructions will be posted here to explain how the fix can be applied. It is strange that initial carrier certification testing did not expose this potential issue…

 

Static IP For AT&T LTE Not Yet An Option

Since the the Sierra Wireless GX440 for AT&T LTE was just released, I’ve been making some inquiries to ensure that our projects involving this device proceed very smoothly. Two bits of info that I would like to share:

  • A special SIM for AT&T LTE will be required to run on the AT&T LTE network the SIM that we used for 2G/3G deployments will not work.
  • At this time AT&T’s LTE Network does not support CCS or I2Gold. What this means is that Static IPs are not yet available on the AT&T LTE network. A resolution is being worked on and I hope to have an update on this to share soon.

Sierra Wireless AirLink Releases GX440 4G LTE AT&T Gateway

Sierra Wireless released the GX440 4G LTE device for the AT&T network today, doubling the GX-line’s options for operating on LTE. The part numbers and manufacturer suggested pricing follows. See more details here.

1101689

GX440   LTE/HSPA+ AT&T (incl. AC power cable and 5 year warranty)

$799

1101688

GX440   LTE/HSPA+ AT&T (incl. DC power cable and 5 year warranty)

$799

GX 440 WiFi

1101690

GX440   WiFi LTE/HSPA+ AT&T  (incl. AC power cable and 5 year warranty)

$899

1101691

GX440   WiFi LTE/HSPA+ AT&T  (incl. DC power cable and 5 year warranty)

$899